What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993) Film Review

Whats_Eating_Gilbert_Grape

Small town America. When Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is not working at the small grocery store, he is taking care of his severely obese mother, Bonnie (Darlene Cates) and his mentally disabled younger brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio). But when Becky (Juliette Lewis) comes into his life, things seem to change.

I think this has to go down as one of my favourite films. Certainly, I have had a crush on Johnny Depp since 21 Jump Street days (the TV show, not the film), and perhaps this was one of the main reasons I loved the film when I was a teenager. But seeing it again recently, I recalled just how good it is. Strong story, excellent performances, some humour and a lot of emotion. The sense of a small town, of people who are very set in their ways, of being trapped by circumstance is strong in many of the characters, but none more than Gilbert. He has no sense of futre; only a claustrophobic present.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Leonardo DiCaprio).

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